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How are lighthouses powered? using cables?

  1. Aug 28, 2009 #1
    how are lighthouses powered? using cables?
    could they be powered using wind or tidal energy?
    is it cost effective?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2009 #2
    Re: lighthouses

    The older lighthouses in Russia, USA, and some other countries were powered by RTGs (Radioisotope thermoelectric generators) in remote locations. It works by drawing power from heat generated by the decay of radioactive isotopes with half lives of 20 years or more. They are all being commissioned I guess. I'm not sure if light houses are being used anymore.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  4. Aug 28, 2009 #3

    vk6kro

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    Science Advisor

    Re: lighthouses

    Lighthouses are still used.

    See the following link.
    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/WA/Cape%20Leeuwin/Cape%20Leeuwin.htm [Broken]

    This one is powered by mains electricity and uses a 1000 watt lamp. It used to use a kerosene lamp. It is not far from a small town, so mains power is the easy way to power it.

    Since they are usually built in windy places, wind generators charging batteries or solar power charging batteries should be possible
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Aug 28, 2009 #4

    Danger

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    Gold Member

    Re: lighthouses

    If local bylaws allow it, and if you can generate the required wattage. An array of ultra-bright LED's might simplify that.
     
  6. Aug 29, 2009 #5

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: lighthouses

    I'm not sure wind would provide an acceptable level of reliability for a light house. They'd have to have a mains power backup at the very least.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2009 #6

    vk6kro

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    Science Advisor

    Re: lighthouses

    I saw a TV show about a lighthouse in the North Sea between Britain and Europe.

    It just sits on a rock miles from anywhere. So, I guess it has a diesel generator for powering the light and the rotating mechanism.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2009 #7
    Re: lighthouses

    Check out this bad boy 100W LED
    http://www.led-professional.com/content/view/464/56/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Aug 29, 2009 #8
    Re: lighthouses

    I didn't know that, thats freakin awesome, a friggin mini nuclear power plant to power a lightbulb! I want one!
     
  10. Aug 29, 2009 #9
    Re: lighthouses

    That was my first impression when someone told me.

    heres one from wiki, was powered by strontium 90:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Soviet_RTG.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Aug 30, 2009 #10
    Re: lighthouses

    WoW! That's what I call nucs for piece:)
     
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